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Inter-Alliance still seeking partners

Inter-Alliance says it is still looking for consolidation partners after its merger talks with Berkeley Berry Birch collapsed last week.

The listed IFA rejected speculation that it would need a further injection of funds to stay afloat and said it would become cashflow positive in the final quarter of the year, delayed in part by the costs of the merger negotiations.

Inter-Alliance issued a better than expected trading statement last week showing revenues up by 23 per cent in the first quarter of 2004 compared with the same period last year.

The firm has stripped costs out of the business, reducing the number of premises from 59 to 26. Adviser numbers grew by 11 per cent to 1,208 at the end of December 2003 from 1,088 in January 2002. Inter-Alliance says it will develop its PMH Alliance non-regulated business which was putting £1m a month revenue through the firm by the end of 2003.

Inter-Alliance chairman and chief executive Keith Carby says: “We continue to look to consolidate and are totally committed to our strategy of building an independent advisory firm with scale in the market.”

Durlacher analyst David Pannell says: “Inter-Alliance surprised us with good trading figures. They have not been losing advisers, trading has been good and they have got to grips with their overheads although there are residual issues around whether they have got enough cash.”

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